RESEARCH PROJECTS

JULeye is all about raising awareness and funds for eye health research to recognise the importance of early diagnosis and treatment of eye disease and contribute to $3.5 million in funding for eye health research projects over the next two years. This is just the first step in our mission to lead efforts to preserve sight and prevent avoidable blindness throughout Australasia.

The Fight Retinal Blindness! Project

Dedicated to finding ways to preserve sight without unwanted side effects

This research project will investigate the safety, effectiveness and possible adverse outcomes of new treatments for macular degeneration (such as injections into the eye). Despite the success of using eye injections to treat the vision loss caused by the ‘wet’ form of macular degeneration, the downside is that there may be an associated increased risk of stroke. The Fight Retinal Blindness! project aims to identify those patients who are at greater risk of stroke or heart attack following new treatments for macular degeneration, and to find ways to minimise this risk.

The Fight Retinal Blindness Project is headed by Associate Professor Mark Gillies, and includes Professor Ian McAllister and Professor Tien Wong. Project partners include the Save Sight Institute, the Lions Eye Institute, and the Centre for Eye Research Australia.

 

Associate Professor Mark Gillies

  • Who is leading the Fight Retinal Blindness! Project
  • The Australian and New Zealand Registry of Advanced Glaucoma

    Identifying people at high risk of glaucomaThis research project is looking at ways to identify people at high risk of developing glaucoma, so that they can be diagnosed early and treated before they start losing vision. To help find out what puts people in a high-risk category for glaucoma, the project will establish the world’s largest registry of advanced glaucoma cases. The project team will research DNA to identify new genes linked to glaucoma and gain a better understanding of glaucoma and its management.

    This project is led by Associate Professor Jamie Craig, and includes Dr Alex Hewitt, Ms Tania Straga, and Ms Bronwyn Usher. Project partner institutions include the Flinders Medical Centre(South Australia), the Departments of Genetic Pathology and Ophthalmology at Flinders University, The Royal Society for the Blind (South Australia), Glaucoma Australia, NHMRC Centre for Clinical Eye Research and the Ophthalmic Research Institute of Australia.

    The Australian and New Zealand Ophthalmic (Rare Diseases) Surveillance Unit

    Helping those who suffer from rare eye diseasesThis research project will link data between Australia and New Zealand, and collaborate with British counterpart, the British Ophthalmic Surveillance Unit. In the study of rare eye diseases, this collaboration between research centres and different populations is critical to being able to discover such things as environmental and genetic causes of eye disease, natural history phenomena and issues of public health importance.

    This project is led by Dr Richard Mills from the Department of Ophthalmology at Flinders Medical Centre in South Australia. Institutions participating in this research project include Flinders University and Flinders Medical Centre (South Australia) and the National Health and Medical Research Council.

    Minum Barreng (Tracking of Eyes) Project

    Identifying the extent and prevalence of eye diseases among indigenous Australians

It has been more than 30 years since a national review of indigenous eye health was taken. Smaller local studies have since shown that eye diseases such as trachoma, cataract and diabetic retinopathy are still as prevalent as in the 1970s – and in some cases even worse. Early detection and treatment of eye disease could prevent up to 75 per cent of avoidable blindness in indigenous communities. This research project will provide a national picture of the extent of eye disease and find more effective ways to treat and prevent disease.

  • Professor Hugh Taylor at work

    • Leading the Minum Barreng Project. Photo courtesy of the Centre for Eye Research Australia
    • This project, led by Professor Hugh Taylor, combines the experience and expertise of many of Australia’s leading research institutions, indigenous community health workers and eye-care professionals.

      Project partners include the Centre for Eye Research Australia, the International Centre for Eyecare Education, Vision Cooperative Research Centre, The Fred Hollows Foundation, the Lions Eye Institute, and the Cooperative Research Centre for Aboriginal Health.

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